If you’ve filed a personal injury claim or lawsuit and are a part of a child support case, you may have several questions about how a personal injury award could affect child support payments. Whether your personal injury settlement is due to a vehicle accident, slip and fall incident or other injury claim, it’s important to understand the impact of a personal injury settlement or award.
Will a Personal Injury Settlement Affect Child Support?
Yes, while laws vary by state, generally personal injury settlements may affect child support. If you have a child support lien against you or are in arrears, the amount of money owed would be taken out of the settlement amount. Further, in some areas, the settlement award amount may be considered income and could affect how the court calculates how much child support is owed.
Can Child Support Take My Personal Injury Settlement?
Yes, your personal injury settlement could be garnished for unpaid child support. If you are behind on payments, the settlement award amount would be used to pay for that back child support amount. Just like income, tax refunds and bank accounts that can be used for back child support, a personal injury settlement is subject to the same garnishment.
When Will Child Support Be Taken from the Settlement Check?
After a settlement is reached or the lawsuit is resolved through a trial, the insurance company will write a check to you and your attorney and send it to your attorney’s office.
Once the check is received, your attorney will deposit the check in an escrow account and then disburse the funds accordingly. In additional to child support liens, your attorney will also pay another other fees and liens from the settlement check proceeds including:
- Unpaid medical bills
- Expert witness services
- Attorney costs
Once the liens and fees are paid, the remainder of the settlement will be paid to you. Keep in mind that a personal injury settlement can affect unpaid child support and future calculations. It’s a good idea to discuss how the settlement amount could affect your income and the amount of money due for child support moving forward.
Depending on the circumstances of your case, the timeline from agreeing to a settlement to receiving your check can be as little as a month but can take several months, especially if liens need to be negotiated.
When you start the process of filing a claim, your personal injury attorney will explain the award process and put a payment agreement in place for your case.
Considerations for a Personal Injury Settlement Offer
Carefully consider many factors before accepting a personal injury settlement. First, ensure that you know how much your injuries and claim is worth. An offer may seem like a lot of money until you realize that this amount won’t even begin to cover your medical expenses, lost wages, and other potential losses. Make sure you are considering your future medical needs and the lost income from not being able to work or maybe even return to your former job. You deserve to be fairly compensated for your losses.
Brandon J. Broderick is Here for You 24/7
At Brandon J. Broderick, Attorney at Law, we believe in exceptional client care, empathy, and results. That’s what makes us one of the top-rated personal injury law firms in the area. With offices in New Jersey, New York, and Connecticut, we’ve got you covered. If you need help getting full and fair compensation for your injuries after an accident, contact us today for a free consultation.